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  1. Celebrity

  2. How are Celebrities Constructed • Success in a career field or simply wealthy • Media • Our fascination • Our consumption • Discourse • Celebrities are people commodified

  3. 12, The Celebrities (Blame Canada) • Celebrity is “a person known for their well-knownness” • Celebrities are the “sideshow freaks” of the carnival and subject to lower body humor • Celebrities manifest in South Park as: • Themselves • Appropriation • Only in conversation (as allusion) • Celebs appear on the show as voice talent, but do NOT partake in their own parody

  4. Personalizing Celebs • Parker and Stone target celebrities they personally find offensive • Because of their music passion, the creators targets pop recording artists • Self-reflexive? • Also largely attack Hollywood actors and directors • Self-reflexive? • Celebrity as “free-floating signifier,” an allusion by being mentioned or referenced

  5. South Park subverts the authority of celebrities by aligning them w/ the lower body • They appear as props or central to narrative • “the television audience is presented with other ways of 'seeing' celebrity that challenge traditional concepts of celebrity by having them appear not as themselves but as their television or movie characters.” (Johnson-Woods, 194)

  6. 12, Celebrity (Sturm) • South Park dismantles celebrity • Exposes and mocks the “manufacturing” of celebrity • Their production, consumption, and circulation • It undermines the authority we give to celebrities • Celebrities can be conceived as: • Commodities, signs/texts, contributing to cultural identity, and serve a social function

  7. Rojek's Categories • 1) Status is ascribed and predetermined through lineage • 2) Can be achieved through recognition of accomplishment • 3) It can be attributed to talentless people who gain attention • 4) It can be celetoid or here one day and gone the next

  8. So, South Park... • Challenges the reproduction of celebrity • Critiques their manufacturing as celebrity • Mocks them and puts them in an unflattering light • Presents celebrity achievement as meritless • It presents us with the true root of their celebrity (sexuality, violent behavior, greed, etc.) • Dismisses the celebrities' talents • Makes us ask: why do we celebrate them?

  9. Benefits of Animation • Celebrities are not needed to participate and create the parody • Animation allows for celebrities' flaws and exploits to be exaggerated • It allows celebrities to appear in situations not possible in live action • The celebrities are not invited to their own parody

  10. “200” and “201” • Comment on “Cartoon Wars” and censorship, advocation for free speech • Parody of liberal celebrities • “Goo” will make the immune to ridicule (satire of Muhammed's immunity to ridicule due to 2005/2007 controversies of his portrayal and violent protests) • Episode got heavily censored • moral conclusion: that the best way to get what you want is to threaten other people with violence. The only true power is violence • When Comedy Central censors it's ironic censorship of an episode mocking censorship

  11. New Circumstances=Censorship • “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” ~Revolution Muslim

  12. Defamation • Communication of false statement to harm a group or individual's reputation (financial harm) • Slander: spoken defamation • Libel: published in a medium defamation • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 1964 • Actual malice standard • First Amendment / freedom of the press • Celebrities have very little protection here

  13. Public Figures/Public Officials • Public figure: (“vortex” or “limited purpose”): politician, celebrity, athlete, business leader • must prove actual malice: published knowing it was fictitious or reckless investigation • Public official: government employees • Involuntary public figure: unwanted celebrity • PO or PF must prove defendant knowingly published falsity or reporting was reckless • Hard to prove that defendant knew the information to be false

  14. Getting Away w/ Celebrity Parody • They are clearly not endorsing the parody...hence the grotesque • Borrow only enough from the original in parody to signify it for mocking • South Park disclaimer

  15. “More Crap” (2007) • Scatological parody of Bono • His merit is associated with shit • Dismantling of Bono's achievements and charitable work • Bono himself is shit, which explains how he can be a charitable piece of shit • Being #1 is compensation for being a number 2 • Allusion to King of Kong